10 metre tall puppet Storm returns to Glasgow for COP26

The 10 metre tall puppet, created by Vision Mechanics, will walk in Glasgow for COP26.
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What’s happening? Fresh from her tour of Scotland, Storm is coming to Glasgow to share her message of the oceans in crisis during COP26.

Created by Edinburgh-based visual theatre company Vision Mechanics, Storm will once again rise from the oceans to walk on land.

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When can you see Storm? Returning to Glasgow for the first time since her first steps were taken as part of Celtic Connections 2020, Storm will walk through Govan on Wednesday 10 November 2021, as COP26 - the United Nations Climate Change Conference - takes place across the city.

What is Storm? Developed in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21, this free, outdoor theatre spectacle has received funding support from Scotland’s Events and Recovery Fund, established by EventScotland, in conjunction with funding from Scottish Government, as well as support from Creative Scotland’s Open Fund. The Scottish Government is also supporting Storm's appearance at COP26 with £15,000.

The team said: “Storm is a legend come to life, emerging from Scottish seas to tell us that the oceans are in crisis.

“She has travelled to 10 towns across Scotland since August 2021, sharing her message with audiences along the way, and will make her final Scottish walk of 2021 in the city she first stepped foot in.

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“Storm asks those she meets, what can be done to alter the course of the climate crisis? She has learned of COP26, and has risen once more to add her powerful voice to the many who are calling for change across Glasgow.”

What to expect: Storm is accompanied wherever she travels by a beautiful soundscape. The Storm music score is written by composer and singer Mairi Campbell and Dave Gray. Mairi’s voice is the chorus of the waves, urging us to care for our oceans. Storm's eyes are the colour of oyster shells, her hair thick strands of kelp, her voice the chorus of the waves. Made from entirely recycled and natural resources Storm is ten metres tall and weighs around 500 kilos.

As Storm walks through Glasgow, she will meet and engage with community groups and arts organisations who will share in her message, including Karine Polwart singing alongside Soundhouse Choir and artist-led social enterprise Oi Musica, who will perform their collaborative composition ‘Enough is Enough’.

Storm will also witness Govan schools and community artists perform, coordinated by Helen Kyle from Stage Scotland. Further detail on Storm’s route, community involvement and who else she will meet on 10 November will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Storm Grove rewilding: To offset the carbon footprint that Storm creates through her travels, Vision Mechanics has created a Storm Grove in the rewilding of the Ancient Caledonian led by Trees for Life.

The trees in this grove will create homes for wildlife and forests for the future. The grove can be added to over time, and anyone who wishes to donate further trees can do so here.

Symon Macintyre, Vision Mechanics Artistic Director, said: “Storm is returning to Glasgow for COP26. Her message that we need to care for this amazing small blue planet is more vital than ever. In towns and cities across Scotland thousands have come to greet her, online thousands more. Storm rises in Glasgow to ask us all to make good on our promises to take action. Storm is a warning and a clarion call to ensure the future for our children and grandchildren.”

Culture Minister Jenny Gilruth added: “Storm delivers a powerful environmental message about the sea and how we can all play a part in protecting our coastal waters. Made from recyclable materials, Storm will be an impressive sight as she strides through Govan with the local community arts and music groups supporting her in this compelling interactive event.”

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Laura Mackenzie-Stuart, Head of Theatre at Creative Scotland said: “We look forward to Storm’s return to Glasgow as part of COP26. Art and creativity have a key role to play in helping to address the climate emergency and contributing to a more environmentally sustainable Scotland. This important work, while inspired by the rich heritage and diverse culture of Scotland’s coasts and waters, also carries a vital message about the need to take care of our planet for future generations.”

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, said: “We have been delighted to support Storm through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund, established by EventScotland in conjunction with funding from the Scottish Government. This majestic goddess of the sea has inspired communities across Scotland with her message centred on the environmental impact on our oceans. Having taken her first steps alongside the River Clyde in January 2020, her return to Glasgow for an appearance at COP26 is a fitting next stop on her journey.”

Storm is the latest production from Edinburgh-based visual theatre makers Vision Mechanics. Previously they toured the giant puppet Big Man Walking across Scotland, transformed Drummohr House into the world of Oz, and installed Giants in the Forest across the UK. Their work invites people to celebrate and participate in creating memorable and interactive productions on huge scales. Storm is their most ambitious, challenging, and politically resonant project yet.

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